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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A surprising source admits Obama has broken with past support of Israel

A surprising source - JTA's Ron Kampeas - has admitted that President Obama has broken with past American support of Israel.
I believe it represents a substantive -- if subtle -- break with his recent predecessors. The way I've put it as that while Obama's predecessors have recognized the 1967 lines as a Palestinian aspiration, Obama has embraced those lines (again, with swaps) as U.S. policy.

Now, recognizing the 1967 lines as a Palestinian aspiration -- as President George W. Bush did -- is not nothing, so I have some sympathy for the view that Republicans have overblown to a degree Obama's shift.

It is not nothing because Palestinians have plenty of aspirations, but the ones recognized by the world's single remaining superpower accrue legitimacy. Neither Bush nor Obama nor any of their predecessors (with the possible exception of -- of all presidents -- Harry Truman) recognized a Palestinian "right of return," for instance.

So Obama's embrace of "1967 lines with swaps" is substantive, it matters -- but it doesn't come out of nowhere. It should also be said that some of the parameters he embraced as U.S. policy favor Israeli positions, including a non-militarized Palestinian state and recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
Recognizing what 'Palestinian' aspirations are is a statement of fact and is not agreeing with those aspirations, let alone making them US policy.

Kampeas goes on - after being prodded by the Jewish Democrats who hang on his every word - to point out that a Republican also called for a similar formulation: William Rogers, who was Richard Nixon's first Secretary of State.
We believe that while recognized political boundaries must be established, and agreed upon by the parties, any change in the pre-existing lines should not reflect the weight of conquest and should be confined to insubstantial alterations required for mutual security. We do not support expansionism. We believe troops must be withdrawn as the Resolution provides. We support Israel's security and the security of the Arab States as well. We are for a lasting peace that requires security for both.
Well, yes, but that's the Secretary of State and not the President. And Yehuda Avner reports in The Prime Ministers that Nixon disagreed with the Rogers Plan and urged then-Israeli ambassador to the US to work directly with the White House rather than through Rogers.

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4 Comments:

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Sparky the Wonder Dog said...

I don't think any other President, tall or short, fat or slim, GOP or Dem, ever ever considered asking Israel to agree to their maximum territorial concessions--even before "negotiations" began on, say, right of return or status of Jerusalem--so that the President could be relieved of the gasp! just awful task of actually casting a UNSC veto (something China and Russia do on autopilot to help out Iran or North Korea or Syria or any of their friends):

http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/2011/06/14/obama-supporters-defend-his-mideast-policy/

http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/2011/06/14/obamas-ludicrous-proposal-to-israel-unpacked/

For all the positive signals periodically leaked out via Dennis Ross this is a guy who throws his own assurances under the bus let alone prior US commitments.

Bush understandings, forgedaboudit. Jerusalem as a united capital, down the memory hole. Quartet demands on Hamas, inoperable--Fatahamistan thugocracy, not to be mentioned.

Barry is not a stand-up guy, he's a rat.

 
At 1:49 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

StWD - re Dennis Ross, I think he is just saying whatever to try to keep Israel's friends from freaking out (more than we already are). Dennis has been involved in almost every attempted agreement and Step One has always been for the Palestinians to stop killing Jews. Now they are moving on down the road with the killing of Jews endorsed by the U.S. President. Dennis must be mortified. Or not, which would be really sad.

 
At 5:52 AM, Blogger Sparky the Wonder Dog said...

Sunlight, I think partly Dennis says things he wishes O had asked him to say, partly he's sent out to prevent mass freak out and partly he fights the fight to prevent things from getting worse. imo O's problem is not that he flat out endorses killing Jews but that his statements to the contrary are totally unreliable. Some say his ideological malice is the key--could come down to fear.

 
At 5:59 AM, Blogger Sparky the Wonder Dog said...

..but, yes, publicly buying into the Palestinian legend of Jewish colonial "illegitimacy" is no incitement to peace...

 

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